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blank terminal on 7-th invocation of dialog

From: Max Arnold
Subject: blank terminal on 7-th invocation of dialog
Date: Fri, 22 May 2009 20:52:48 +0800
User-agent: Mutt/1.5.16 (2007-06-09)

Hello all!

I'm fighting almost whole day with strange problem. It happened while 
developing simple gui
with dialog utility inside X terminal (urxvt or aterm). I've narrowed it to 
simple test window
(text and dimensions are not important):

dialog --yesno "Sample text" 10 40

I can launch this simple dialog six times in a row, and on 7-th it hangs with 
blank terminal
(but I'm able to abort it via Ctrl+C). No matter what I'm doing then (launch in 
terminal, issue 'reset' command), it doesn't work anymore as well as any other 
console dialog
windows (other ncurses applications are not affected). The only way to recover 
is to switch to
console via Alt+Ctrl+F1, wait 2-3 seconds and then switch back to X.

So far I've found four workarounds:

1. launch it inside xterm

2. launch it inside urxvt via command substitution:

res=`dialog --stdout --yesno "Sample text" 10 40`

3. make urxvt report itself as xterm (urxvt.termName: xterm)

4. install ncurses-5.7 (this breaked many other binaries linked against 
libncursesw.so.5 and
since right now I don't plan to recompile everything, I've switched back to 5.6)

Probably this problem started to happen after system upgrade which involved 
many components,
including xorg-1.5.  I've tested my earlier dialog scripts and they are also 

I'm on Gentoo, xorg-server-1.5.3-r5, ati-drivers-8.552-r2, ncurses-5.6-r2, 
aterm-1.0.1-r1, rxvt-unicode-9.06, xterm-242

Also I'm unable to reproduce this on my second machine with same software 
versions but different
hardware and video card.

Any suggestions?

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